"Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Objectivity

Candelabra
Dora Maar ~ 1935
Fair Use Principles



Too many indifferent objects
take up space;
they distract vision.
Even doors are made to be closed.
I do not know how I should fit myself
between the unshelved books
and cold teacups.

I pose this question:

If no one ever loved me, beyond my object self,
would my purpose be simply material?

Intrinsic value may be the equivalent
of a paperweight,
or a dog-eared page, for all I know.

Let me rephrase.

I am not certain if love is the appropriate measure,
just another thing one has accumulated and put on display.

Ownership is a burden;
in the having,
one stands to lose so much.
No matter how I try to blend
into the furniture,
in belonging to another
I become the doorstop.

No wonder then, that there are days I am shrill,
days when I fall silent and pack my belongings into boxes.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden.



30 comments:

  1. Oh wow, this is the most wonderfully thought provoking inner dialogue. I especially like the idea of person as doorstop in relationship, no matter how inconspicuous one tries to be. I identify with the times one is shrill and packs things into boxes. Been packing all my life, LOL. Good one, Kerry.

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    1. I've spent a lot of this vacation packing things into boxes for a move. That got me thinking about the value of objects.

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  2. There are so many tales weaved into this poem, Kerry. It's philosophy dancing with relationships. I've always thought of love as something that takes too much... Something that can only be fair and successful when two (or everyone involved) give everything to the each other, in order not to leave the other missing something. And still, even when giving all of that, it's not like having yourself... since that has already being given.

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    1. Such an insightful comment, Magaly. The final sentence reads like epiphany.

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  3. The ownership aspect of love is one the puzzle me... To be anything, even adored can become in parts to put in boxes... you make me wonder if love even can exist... a lot to ponder

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    1. "To be anything, even adored can become in parts to put in boxes" ... Great point.

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  4. Very interesting. We see ourselves as individual entities, and we are. We also see ourselves as part of the room, a piece of the furniture, if you will. And in some ways we are. Is it love that gives value added and elevates? If so, is it in the giving or in the receiving? Or are we the only ones who can see ourselves in the context of meaning and aspirations and truest values? You've posed many questions. A very thought provoking piece.

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    1. Perhaps the materialism of this festive season has something to do with my cynicism. Thank you for asking these questions, Steve.

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  5. This got me thinking about my relationship with my wife. Is she an object in any way? An interesting, sensitive riddle

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    1. If it got you thinking, then I feel like the poem had value. Does that make it an object too?

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  6. After "Let me rephrase," you completely blew my mind with how spot-on you went with capturing Sylvia Plath's voice.

    Excellent work, Kerry. Love that second half, big time.

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    1. Gosh, thanks! (Although I thought I was capturing my own voice.)
      :-)

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  7. The use of language is scintillating, and the phrasing is a beguiling mix of musicality and legal-brief logic. Ain't just anybody who can pull that off.

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  8. in belonging to another I become a doorstop... fabulous writing and leaves me with much to think about.

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  9. Though provoking and insightful.It seems to me that relationships are rarely balanced.There are
    givers and takers. Personality types who are destined to be doorstops or door mats may have to seek out more unconventional life styles to avoid this predicament. Women in the majority of cases fall into this category. It is still a man's world.

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    1. There is a difference between a door mat and a doorstop. I think that men also wonder at their roles in a relationship, especially if they feel used rather than appreciated. My intention was not gender specific.

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  10. Makes one think. Relationships are very complex. We don't want to be owned and yet we don't want to share. As a rule.

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    1. Ah, yes! You expressed the paradox perfectly. Thank you.

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  11. Perhaps because women as a rule have a more developed emotional subjectivity than men that objectification is a flattening of one's essence, as if there was no more meaning than what is surficially seen and consumed. While its all those predatory hunter-gatherers understand. Love will make both think they are strangers in a strange land. And it only grows more fierce--that separation--the older we grow. A fine perusal here which also points out that poetry won't let us off any easy hooks.

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    1. Ah, Brendan, predatory behaviour aside, men are equally capable of some emotional development, even if they do not express it. I hope the poem does not come across as the lament of a woman who feels objectified by another, rather as one who questions her own concept of self.

      I do love your point that 'Love will make both think they are strangers in a strange land.' There is a whole poem right there. certainly, I agree that separation, or a desire for independence, grows stronger as we age.

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  12. The second to last stanza is the Eureka moment of this poem. Such a solid string of words.

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    1. Thanks, David. Perhaps more poems should be written in bathtubs!

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  13. 'I do not know how I should fit myself
    between the unshelved books
    and cold teacups.'
    A familiar dilemma, Kerry.
    I agree with Cressida, that most relationships are rarely balanced, which I think can be more interesting for some and the see-saw aspect of a relationship kind of keeps it going. And then there are people who just want to live a quiet life, heaven for them but boring for others. That's the beauty of us all being different.

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    1. I like the idea that the see-saw effect keeps the relationship going.

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  14. Such a cool and thoughtful poem, Kerry. Was not Dora Maar one of the lovers or wives of Picasso? I will have to look that up. But here you use the objectification with so much emotion--these are very sensual objections in the sense that they very much feel pain--the idea of the door stop is just so clever (if pained), as is the idea of love as one more accoutrement--one that can be very heavy to pack up. Thanks. Much enjoyed. k.

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    1. Thank you, Karin. Accoutrement is exactly the right word.. if only I'd thought of it!

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  15. even these words were made by someone else: I just concatenated them. ideas like copyright, time, footsteps... boxes... sometimes for me it's falling down Alice's rabbit-hole into a world where all is not as it seems, where words become animate (like the playing cards) and own themselves. we just happened to be there...

    as to love... as you point out, it's also a kind of ownership stake, isn't it? I look more so, as I age, at the wisdom in the Buddhist precept of letting go of desire.

    good luck moving...

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  16. "Shrill" is such a gendered word... for it to appear at the end of this observation suggests the struggle to keep above the what's-expected part of a relationship. It's easy to retreat into that comfort zone, and work to get beyond it. I love this.
    Also, you are moving? Moving far? I love (my idea of) your cottage... do tell what's up.

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